Bernardos research has shown that learners who apply

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Unformatted text preview: learners recognizing the structural relationships among problem types. Bernardo (2001) suggests that learners’ ability to recognize such relationships is enhanced by the use of an analogical-problem construction strategy. With this approach learners are provided with a worked example of a problem, then asked to write a problem of their own that is similar to the example. Bernardo’s research has shown that learners who apply this strategy are better able to transfer their problem solving skills to new problems. Appropriate practice. Practice is essential to the development of a skill, and the skill is more likely to transfer if practice occurs within an appropriate cognitive context (Carlson, Khoo, and Elliot, 1990). Cognitive context refers to the learners’ beliefs about why they are practicing a skill. An appropriate cognitive context requires that the learner be aware of why, when, and how the skill will be use as they practice the skill. This means that when learning a new skill, students should be made aware of this information early and be reminded of it as they practice the skill. One approach to providing students with this awareness is to demonstrate the application of the skill in as many appropriate contexts as possible early in the learning sequence. 32 Transfer of procedural knowledge to procedural knowledge, In many situations previously learned skills serve as components of skills that are learned later. For example, students need to multiply and subtract during long division. In some cases, these component skills need to be in place first. In the long division example, it would be useful for students to have learned how to subtract before beginning their learning of long division. Consequently, the important instructional issue is making sure that skills are taught in a logical sequence. In Chapter 10, we discuss how to analyze skills for their prerequisites. In other cases, it may be useful to engage students in the more complex skill, and have them learn component skills as necessary. For example, students might be engaged in a complicated problem-solving task in environmental science that requires component skills such as topographic map reading or the use of certain laboratory procedures of equipment. Instructional modules could be created to teach these skills when students need them in their problem solving. The underlying assumption is that these skills may seem more understandable when taught in terms of their use or purpose. We will have more to say about this when we discuss constructivism and transfer. Principle 3.4: Learning is an Active and Goal directed Process As you remember from Chapter 3, cognitive theorists view learners as having an active role in regulating their own learning. Self-regulating learners engage in a series of metacognitive activities such as identifying their goal, selecting appropriate strategies for their goal, and monitoring their progress on a learning task. These types of activities require learners to transfer previously learned pro...
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